• Thursday, 24 January 2019

Warm Welcome for Sanya in Panama during Round the World Yacht Race

PANAMA CITY: After more than 20 days of intense ocean racing, Clipper Round the World Yacht Race entry Sanya Serenity Coastwas welcomed into Panama City by the Chinese Ambassador to Panama having maintained its overall lead after completing the tenth of thirteen individual races that forms the entire circumnavigation.

During a visit to the Sanya Serenity Coast team yacht, Wei Qiang, the inaugural Chinese Ambassador to Panama, highly commended the partnership between the Sanya Government and Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

During the visit to the 70 foot purpose-built modern ocean racing yacht, the Ambassador listened to stories from the non-professional crew of Sanya Serenity Coast, some of whom had never sailed before signing on to take on the world's toughest endurance change. He said, "It's a really big challenge for crew to live and work on board during such a harsh environment."

Panama is a significant stopover for the Sanya Serenity Coast team given China's long history with the Central American Nation. Since the late 19th century, China has played an important part in the industrial development of Panama, and today, more than 300,000 Panamanian-Chinese live in Panama - around 8 per cent of the population.

The Ambassador thought Sanya Serenity Coastwas an ideal platform to showcase Sanya as a world-renowned sailing destination and resort whilst raising China's profile on an international stage.

Since beginning the 40,000 nautical mile race in Liverpool, UK, in August, 2017, the Sanya Serenity Coast Clipper Race yacht has been flying the flag for the idyllic tropical paradise located on Hainan, China, in Host Ports around the world, with the race stopping in Punta del Este, Uruguay; Cape Town, South Africa; and Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart and the Whitsundays, Australia, before arriving in Sanya.

From its home port, the Sanya Serenity Coast yacht raced on to Qingdao in Northern China and Seattle, USA, before reaching Panama.

As well as the Chinese Ambassador to China, Sanya Serenity Coast and the other ten Clipper Race teams were welcomed into Flamenco Marina, Panama City, by locals, supporters and Chinese nationals living in Panama. Mr. Zheng, a member of the local Chinese community said, "China and Panama established diplomatic ties last year and we feel very proud and excited to see the people from our hometown. I had heard there was a team named Sanya Serenity Coast sailing around the world, and now that I have finally seen it, it's really fantastic!"

The Sanya Serenity Coast team, along with its ten evenly matched competitors, will line up to begin Race 11 from Panama to New York on Sunday 3 June and is set to arrive in the American city between 14-16 June.

After reaching New York, the Sanya Serenity Coast team will embark on the Homecoming Leg 8 and set off towards Derry-Londonderry before reaching Liverpool, having completed the circumnavigation.